The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors

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Rating: ★★★★

I discover this picture book through an article about this particular Librarian and her recommendations for those who want to read a book. She recommended that every one of all ages should read this book and I believe her! This book is truly meant for children and if you are able to tap into your inner child then you can learn to appreciate this short and sweet story. The title of the book is self-explanatory and I won’t reveal much but lets just say it could be the potential origin story as to how this whole game started.

The illustrations of this book is on fire and it captivated my attention and I could just imagine how fascinated little kids who feel reading this story and if I had to rate this book solely on the illustrations it would receive the highest marks possible. Normally this would be a guaranteed 5 stars for me but I felt this story could have developed into greater storyline instead of the actual outcome. I believe since I am an adult reading this book the predictability ruined the whole experience but in the end I have no quarrels about this cute story.

I highly recommend this book for parents who want a new book to read to their children and since the story takes place during the summer its easier for children to relate to the story and explore some fun outside of the house with Rock, Paper, Scissors! Drew Daywalt was brilliant at bringing this concept that naturally gets passed from generation to generation and added a new flare to an iconic game.

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The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Color Edition

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Rating: ★★★★★

If I could go back in time to when I was in elementary school, I would slap some sense into my younger self and tell him to read this book because it is absolutely hilarious, ridiculous, and it deals with a superhero nonetheless. Dav Pilkey is brilliant at crafting this book for kids of all ages and clever enough that it feels like you are reading a graphic novel instead of an actual book. I do not understand why this book is constantly being challenged or banned in public schools because the ridiculousness of it all is apparent enough for a child to understand that they shouldn’t cause havoc and disruption in school.

We are introduced to George Beard and Harold Hutchins who are best friends and the class clowns at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. In their spare time when they are not pulling practical jokes, George and Harold love creating comic books and one in particular called Captain Underpants is their all-time favorite superhero. When they finish writing a new issue, they sneak into the main office making photocopies of the comic and then sell it to their fellow peers for 50 cents. Their principal, Principal Krupp despises children, laughter, and most of all George and Harold with their stupid comic book and decides it is his life mission to put an end to these little twerps.

Principal Krupp succeeds in his pursuit when he caught on film the two tricksters pulling a practical stunt on the football team and uses the footage for blackmail against George and Harold. After a few days of performing chores for Krupp, George and Harold sees an ad in the paper for this special hypnotic ring and uses it to hypnotize Principal Krupp to retrieve the tape and make him forget about the whole dilemma. For the most part they accomplish that task but George and Harold tells Krupp to become Captain Underpants and he decides to leave school and pursue justice for all. Now George and Harold are following him, making sure he doesn’t get killed, and they want to avoid getting into anymore trouble.

The entire story is extremely whimsical and I love the illustrations. I believe having this book in color makes the whole experience captivating because I am not a big fan of illustrations in black and white. I can tolerate it when it comes to Mangas because I have no choice but when it deals with children books they have to be in color. The colors make the story pop out and dealing with Captain Underpants, it makes the adventure mind-blowing as he tries to save the day and the boys trying to save him from harm.

I believe this book is perfect for kids who do not like to read because it doesn’t feel like you are reading at all during the whole time. I tend to have a habit of counting how many pages I read regardless if I love or hate a book and with this children’s book I lost count of the time and when I looked down I was already 80 pages into the book so I can just imagine a kid picking up this book thinking it is a comic and wanting more adventures of George and Harold by the time its over.Do I want read more Captain Underpants after finishing this novel? HELL YES. Overall this series is fun and a quick refreshment after a long day or when I want to read a book that doesn’t require much just an open mind and a sense of humor.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

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Rating: ★★★

When I originally read this children’s book, I wanted to make this an extravagant post about the former President during this chaotic transition of power and how I will deeply miss him and how he brought honor and respect to the role of President even though a good percentage of the country wanted to see him burn at the stake or worst. But as time has gone by and the laziness that has kicked in because of school I’ve decided to simply stick to the book and not the author. I was disappointed with this children’s book for the simple fact that it is misleading and does not feel like the author actually wrote it or rather gave the idea but did not execute it well. Of Thee I Sing is a book that Barack Obama wrote in dedication to his daughters and teaching them about women empowerment and how these countless icons have helped paved the way for women especially women of color and how the roadblocks that were presented in their life did not stop them from pursuing their true potential as human beings.

Obviously I am an adult so I knew plenty of details of the women that the author illustrated for this book but if I were a kid I still would not have a clue about half of these women and why are they so significant in the 21st century. I could be completely wrong but I did not feel the passion of how this book was put together and I do believe it is important for kids to read it because there is tons of individuals from all walks of life who has changed the world in one shape or form and do not get the recognition because people want to erase them from history or they do not want these individuals planting the necessary seeds in our subconscious to let us know that we can accomplish anything if we set our minds to it regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation.

I wish I could have given it 5 stars especially since I miss Barack Obama and despise how our current leader has brought nothing but disrespect to the Oval, to its constituents, and our country across the globe. I try to stay away from being political on my reading blog because I believe this site is the ideal place where we can share ideas and not judge those who may have contrasting ideas so I will end my review here for now.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I love that I am reading this series again because when I read Harry Potter the first time it was simply absorbing information and quickly finishing books 1-6 so that way I can finally read Deathly Hallows and learn the ending. Reading the series again brings a breath of fresh air and discover the tiny details that weren’t obvious at first but will later have a major impact in the upcoming books. Prisoner of Azkaban and me started on bad terms and I blame Warner Brothers. When they released the first two Harry Potter films, they would always released it for November and I would get excited when November would come around and see the trailer for the new release and get to see the movie. I had devour the first two films countless times and needed more and everything was set up for November and then they shifted Prisoner of Azkaban from November 2003 to June 2004.

I was livid because I would practically have to wait an entire year for this film and they kept showing the commercials in 2003 which just added more fuel to my frustration and anger. Finally when June 2004 came around I wanted to see the film and unfortunately those plans were ruined and I never saw the film in theaters. Imagine an 9 year old not being able to see his favorite characters in theaters again was absolute and pure misery. Then I had to wait till it came out on DVD which was for another 6 months.

The minute I got the film in my possession I popped that sucker into my DVD player and watch that film. When I finished watching it my reaction was this film is utter crap. After all these years of waiting this is the film that I have been waiting for? Nope I want my money back and a better film. I didn’t care about the drama, the characters looked hideous except for Hermoine, and the whole Godfather was a total bore. Give me Voldemort! I want action and adventure and less about Hogwarts. Those old wounds felt fresh when I read the book and when I finished the book I felt that it was the worst book in the series. No action throughout the story like the previous two and all the action is in the last 3 chapters.

This time around I didn’t feel any hatred or dislike towards the book. I do not know if it’s because I haven’t seen the films or read the book in 5 years that it has allowed me to distance myself in the series or the fact that I know what happens to these characters that I paid a closer attention to details especially Trelawney.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we meet Harry again living with the Dursleys and it still feels like hell because the Dursleys still dislike Harry and treat him like garbage. Since Harry will enter Hogwarts as an 3rd Year Student, he has the special privilege of visiting Hogsmeade which is a small town next to Hogwart. Vernon makes a deal that if he behaves when Dudley’s aunt, Marjorie Dursley, comes to visit that he will sign his permission form and all’s well that ends well.

Marjorie has a huge animosity towards Harry and he tries his best to avoid her at all cost and everything was going perfect until the last night of her stay. She starts to get drunk and make conversations about Harry parents and makes the awful choice of mentioning that Harry’s parents were nothing but lowlives particularly his father and that’s when all bets were off. Without even using his wand, Harry’s magical powers turn Marjorie into a floating balloon.

Harry grabs his stuff and decides that he will escape the Dursleys and heads to Diagon Alley and panics that he quite possibly expelled from Hogwarts for using magic outside of school and in front of humans. Luckily for Harry, he discovers the Knight bus which can transport him to anyplace he wants and the bus is magical with full of crazy and entertainment moments as the driver takes each passenger to their destination.

When Harry reaches the Leaky Cauldron, the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge is there waiting for him. Harry panics and sees that the minister is acting strange. In the end, Cornelius is glad that Harry is safe, alive, and his magical incident is resolved. Harry is allowed to stay in the Leaky Cauldron until school starts and for once we see that he is excited to be on Holiday and looking forward towards attending Hogwarts again.

As everything is fine and dandy, Harry overhears the gossip and news and discovers that this madman from Azkaban (wizard prison), Sirius Black, has escaped and wants to kill Harry. No one has ever escaped Azkaban before and now Harry is scared what lies ahead at Hogwarts. The whole ministry has publicized about Sirius’s escape and has taken awful precautions to track him down.

Once Harry reaches Hogwarts again with Ron and Hermoine everything is alright and wonderful as usual with their new school courses. They have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who is actually phenomenal compare to the last two and Hagrid is finally a teacher which made me happy for him that he has risen up in the world.

As the story progresses we see that Sirius Black roams around Hogwarts and poses as a threat since he wants to kill Harry. What’s worst is Harry finds out that Sirius was his fathers best friend, he betrayed his parents by telling Voldemort their location, and he is Harry’s Godfather. Harry decides that he will kill Sirius if they finally meet and it’s an interesting side to witness because Harry is a very emotional person and deep down I would never believed that he has what it takes to kill another human being let alone a wizard.

Favorite Quotes:

The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.

You think the dead we have loved ever truly leaves us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?

Overall I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and while it may not have the action that I want like the previous books, it’s 100x less obvious compare to Chamber of Secrets where J.K. Rowling kept pounding the hints trying to see if you didn’t noticed them but trust me everyone and their mother did. This book was less predictable, more action, and finally we get insight into Harry’s parents past.

I saw the film almost a month ago and it’s still not my favorite Harry Potter film but the book I would say is beating Chamber of Secrets which is my 2nd least favorite book in the series. Gary Oldman as Sirius Black and David Thewlis as Remus Lupin were perfectly cast and I love their interaction with Harry. I understand how Trelawney’s predictions sometimes aren’t 100% accurate but the ones that she mentions throughout the book I am afraid will come true later in the series or by the end of book 7. I was shocked how obvious it was even from book 3 and yet no one made the connection at the time.

I was a wee bit disappointed that we didn’t get any Voldemort action because this series is about him and Harry Potter. Every book up to know had a major reveal about Voldemort and I love how he puts fear into Harry especially in the beginning. Plus this is the last book in the series where we get to experience daily life at Hogwarts. While it is a magical school, I feel like the first 3 are meant for younger kids because I’ve always dislike the day-to-day activities with these characters because it can become tedious and I do not want to be reminded about school when reading this magical world. Also by doing that it makes me get the comprehension that you have no clue what you are doing in terms of plot and character development and you can distract your readers.

Deep down I love every Harry Potter book and I am glad this is the last one for kids and then Goblet of Fire is meant for older teenagers who want action, adventure, plot twist and less about academics.

For now I am taking a temporarily pause on the Harry Potter series because I have a million and one things that I need to focus and when I read Harry Potter I have to be solely committed to that book and nothing else. Goblet of Fire is one of my all-time favorite because of the Triwizard tournament and that epic finale! I will hopefully read the next one soon so until then enjoy the magical world of Harry Potter especially since J.K. Rowling will be releasing 3 short ebooks and her spinoff Harry Potter movie coming out in November!

The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure

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Rating: ★★★★★

After reading Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure my enthusiasm for Star Wars increased and made me enjoy this new series of EU Books. I really enjoy this book but I am afraid that Han Solo raised the bar in terms of storytelling and action compare to this book. I will admit that for including R2-D2 and C-3PO into this story it felt like I was watching an episode of Star Wars. Since this book is part of Journey to the Force Awakens series, we get a bit of insight into the world of post-Return of the Jedi while at the same time read new adventures of our beloved characters. This is written for children especially middle grade but I will be the first one to defend this book and highly recommend those who want to read new stuff about these iconic characters. The writing is natural and organic and it doesn’t feel forced which is highly important when dealing with Star Wars.

Future: It takes places 30 years after Return of the Jedi or the same time frame as The Force Awakens.

Present: Jessika Pava is performing regular maintenance check up with astromechs droids and meets C-3PO who mysterious has a red robotic arm and seeks friendly conversation with Jessika.

Past: For almost the entirety of this book deals with Luke Skywalker on a mission after the events of A New Hope.

With all the new footage and photos of the Force Awakens, everyone is questioning where is Luke and why Luke isn’t featured in any of the advertisements? (AND NO LUKE IS NOT FU#$@$@#NG KYLO REN!) Well for this book it is clear that Luke is in hiding and is not featured in the future part of this story. We are introduced to a new character named Jessika Pava who is a fighter pilot and she is practically doing chores while waiting around for a new mission. Her chore is to check up on the astromech droids and make sure they are clean and have all the important information that is needed for the upcoming adventures.

While Jessika is cleaning one astromech droid, she has an encounter with C-3PO who is looking for friendly chatter. While C-3PO talking to Jessika, he nonchalantly mentions his Master Luke. Jessika has a panic attack and makes the connection that C-3PO & R2-D2 are Luke Skywalker’s droids. She immediately wants to know more about their adventures and ask C-3PO to tell her a story that no one knows which he gladly provides.

We are then shifted back into the past after A New Hope with Luke on a dangerous mission on the planet Giju. Since he and Wedge are the only pilots who survived the Battle of Yavin they are reinstated to continue with Red Squadron. As Luke and Wedge are trying to destroy tie fighters, Luke gets this weird vibe from the force giving him a message that he can’t decipher. When they finally succeed in their mission they head back to a rebel station, and he meditates with the Force and gets a message from Uncle Ben and a vision of a mysterious planet and how he needs to go where the Force is calling him.

Mon Mothma has a new mission for Luke which he is reluctant to accept but for the Rebel Alliance he cannot argue and accepts the journey. His mission requires R2-D2 and C-3PO to tag along and right from the beginning Luke disobeys the mission to follow the force that leads him to this new planet. Along the way he encounters Imperials and almost gets his ship destroyed. He makes the decision to visit this mysterious planet in order to recuperate and figure out why the Force is calling him to it.

When he arrives to this new planet, Luke finds out that there is a Jedi temple that has been abandoned and prohibited to enter and he wants break in to discover what is inside the temple and if he can improve as a Jedi in training. It is clear that he has the lack of training to use a lightsaber in combat and is conflicted between following his father path and accomplishing it now that Ben Kenobi is dead and the last available Jedi to train him. To get into this temple, Luke needs a guide and hires an alien called Sarco Plank who is mysterious and deceitful especially how all his clients mysteriously disappeared.

This is just a snippet of the book and for the most part I really enjoy the story and how we see Luke Skywalker grow as a Jedi. I never made the connection until now but it makes you wonder how Luke master the force in Empire Strikes Back before the help of Yoda and without anyone to help him train. I know for a fact that you can’t just magically train without any experts and clearly Luke has major training to do in order to be the badass that he becomes in the trilogy. With this marvelous book we see Luke really connect to the Force and learn how to be one with it and how marvelous the world was with the Jedi helping the galaxy.

Luke Skywalker is not my favorite character because he is naive in the beginning and I love to see myself relatable in a character and I don’t see myself in anyone except for Anakin Skywalker where I can relate to until Revenge of the Sith where he is a completely different and not recognizable person. The major issue I had is this book is only about Luke.

What I mean is with the Smuggler’s Run, it dealt with Han, Chewbacca, and we got major insight into the bad guys. We got to see different point of views and see the drama unraveling which left me at the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next whereas I did enjoy all the training and fighting that Luke encounters, we really don’t get to see the bad guys point of view and it felt random when the bad guys arrive and try to take down Luke. I felt like they added that sequence because without it then it wouldn’t be considered a Star Wars book and we don’t get any names of any Imperial officials. I felt as though for the Villains it was really disconnected and I did not like that. I know this book was dedicated for Luke to connect to the Force but I would have loved more danger into the story.

Overall I believe this is a great book and I hope they write a sequel that provides the details of what happens after the events of Luke and this temple. The author was smart with leaving us with loose ties because then we get to look forward for more adventures and more personal stories of Luke Skywalker and those who he encounters in this huge galaxy. For children who have started watching Star Wars this would be a great read for them and to enjoy more the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

More Star Wars adventures will be coming your way and I hope my love of Star Wars will inspire those to see the new film and read more about the Expanded Universe. Stay tuned for more and may the force be with you.

Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure

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Rating: ★★★★★

I am ecstatic that I was able to finally finish this book and take part on this journey to the Force Awakens. Each day I am slowly losing my patience for the new Star Wars movie and I do not know how I am going to handle it come December. I am lucky enough to have plenty of comics and books of Star Wars to keep me entertain. I have to be honest and mention that this book will likely get 3 stars or at best 4 depending on my lovely Goodreads friends but for me it gets all the stars because this short book took me on this epic adventure with Han Solo and Chewbacca and for a moment I forgot that I was reading a book and instead watch Star Wars 4.5. This book is written for middle grade readers and for it being a short story I guarantee you can read it in a few hours. The story marvelously deals with the past, present, and future of Star Wars. It is told in different point of views which I love and you get insight into the minds of Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the new villain in this story.

Future: It takes places 30 years after Return of the Jedi or the same time frame as The Force Awakens.

Present: Han Solo is at bar telling these groups of young people about a story of the Millennium Falcon and how it is one of the best ships in the Galaxy.

Past: The story that Han Solo is telling these young individuals about takes place immediately right after A New Hope.

Han Solo is an old man who in my mind is unbelievable because he will always be the ruggedly handsome guy that I feel in love with in the original Star Wars trilogy. He is at a bar having his usual drink when out of the corner of his ear a group of Imperial looking individuals are being obnoxious talking about trying to steal one of the best ships in the Galaxy.

Knowing how Han Solo loves to be the center of the commotion finds his way unto the table and tells these individuals that there is only ship that is able to accomplish the task they want to achieve and if they buy him a drink he will tell them the story. The Prologue and Epilogue essentially takes place in the Force Awakens era but for the rest of the story we are in the past.

We are immediately introduced to Chewbacca who is on the Millennium Falcon ready to head over to Jabba’s place in order to pay him his due because there are countless bounty hunters on the loose. We get inner dialogue into his head about the past and his mixed conflicted emotions but the nonetheless has two main loyalties in his life towards Han Solo and his ship. C-3PO messages him from the ship telling Chewbacca to meet Han Solo and Princess Leia.

The gang is still on Yavin (Minus Luke Skywalker) but clearly everyone that is still around is trying to dismantle anything that has to do with the Rebel Alliance and escape before the Imperials come and kill them. Han Solo is having an argument with Princess Leia because she has an important mission that she needs both Han Solo and Chewbacca to accomplish. Han Solo clearly does not want nothing to do with the Rebel Alliance because he doesn’t want to include himself into this war. Unfortunately Chewbacca feelings differ and accepts the task.

It clearly obvious in A New Hope that Han Solo and Leia have an instant chemistry even though they always bicker but I love how Chewbacca picks up the little hints and realizes that Han Solo has feelings for the Princess and vice versa. Princess Leia relays the important information about this dangerous mission. The Rebels are always on the run to escape from the Empire and because they are a small group, Princess Leia has a recon teams who gather resources about possible locations for Rebel bases and top classified information that if the Imperials gather this intel it would be game over for the Rebel Alliance.

Sadly these individuals called the Shrikes were ambushed by the Imperial Security Bureau on Taanab but luckily one of the members was able to escaped and now is heading to Cyrkon waiting to be rescued and taken to the rendezvous point to provide the next base for the Rebels. It sounds like a piece of cake but Cyrkon is in Jabba’s space loaded with criminals and a corrupted government meaning that bounty hunters will most likely be ready to capture Han Solo and Chewbacca.

They all argue but Chewbacca is the deciding vote and agrees to take this mission on to help the Rebels and Princess Leia. Meanwhile all that drama is happening we meet Commander Alecia Beck who runs the Vehement ship. She is the one who tracked the Shrikes but unfortunately they were all killed because one member of the team refused to confess any valuable information to the Imperials. Immediately Alecia Beck realizes that there is an extra member who escaped and tracks his whereabout and heads to Cyrkon.

Interestingly enough this is just a sample of what this story is about and I highly recommend everyone to read it especially if you love Han Solo and Chewbacca. I think this story would have been phenomenal if this was published in 1977 after Star Wars was released. The danger is a bit less scary because you already know that Han Solo and everyone survives in the Original Trilogy so it takes away that aspect of danger but I was still at the edge of my seat wondering how Han Solo and Chewbacca escape and save the day.

I wish there was a movie version that documented what happen between A New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back because there is tons of stories that can be filled in and this book would have been epic in film format. I couldn’t get the actors who played these iconic characters out of my head and I loved every second of this adventure with these two rascals.

The illustrations were great but I wished there could have been more because it was fascinating looking at them and how it helped me visualize the weapons, the clothes, and the characters especially when sometimes it gets too Sci-Fi with the descriptions. For children who have started watching Star Wars this would be a great read for them and to enjoy more the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Alecia Beck was a phenomenal villain and I love how she is portrayed and how creepy she has that computer eye similar to the Terminator. I am curious how she got that eye and this is not the last time you see that name.

More Star Wars Adventures coming this way so stay tuned for more! May the Force be with You.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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Rating: ★★★★

I have mixed feelings when it comes to this beloved classic. I have deep roots with the Wizard of Oz and now that I have read this book I am glad the movie is nothing compared to the book. I am curious if they will ever make a new Wizard of Oz film and see if they will be faithful to the material because the book would be considered too gruesome for children in the 21st Century. Growing up my parents never had cable and if we were going to watch TV then it was going to be a rented VHS movie from Hollywood Videos (Am I officially old?) or a movie in my humongous collection of Disney & Children films. When I saw the Wizard of Oz in VHS I was enamored by the magic and beauty of Oz. I wanted to escape the real world and be taken up by the tornado with Dorothy and wear those Ruby Slippers. I could never understand why she wanted to leave Oz and I still don’t.

My fascination became to the point of obsession that I would sing all the songs, say the lines before the characters would speak, and I could spend hours watching the films over and over again and never be bored. The Wizard of Oz still has a foothold in my world that I went to see the 3D version in theaters, seen countless miniseries or spinoffs, and yet I have not read the iconic book. Shocker right? Well not really… I hated reading as a child I remember opening the book to just see the illustrations.

Technically I have read the Wizard of Oz but I dismiss it entirely because in Elementary School we had to read books to earn points for a grade (What a genius of our educated system am I right? 😦 ) and they had the watered-down editions of classics so instead of 224 pages of this edition they would shrink it to 100-150. So major scenes were either cut-down or they hired another writer to write this iconic classic for children’s to get the simplified version of the story.

We are know the story of Wizard of Oz because we’ve all seen the iconic Judy Garland as Dorothy and if you haven’t seen it then you must be living under a rock because that movie is always playing on TV and I will watch it whenever it shows up. But for the few that haven’t seen it I will give a general synopsis.

This book was published in 1900 which is over 100 years ago and that is an important detail later on. We meet Dorothy Gale who is a farm girl living with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. She is an orphan and we don’t get a reason how she became an orphan but then again this is a children’s book. She has a dog named Toto and life is rough on the farm. The crop has been doing too well this season and Dorothy hints in many ways that she wants to escape this gray-view Kansas.

Luckily for her a tornado brews up in Kansas and comes heading her way. Her aunt and uncle reach underground for protection and she would have too except Toto escaped and running around the house and hiding so Dorothy tries to capture him but it’s too late. The tornado blows the house away and Dorothy is caught stuck inside the tornado. Surprisingly being inside a tornado is relatively calm until they crash to the ground.

Dorothy thinks they have landed faraway from the farm but when she opens the front door immediately we are introduced into this different world. Clearly we are not in Kansas as flowers of different color are blooming, colors of all spectrum is shown beautifully across the landscape and weird buildings are popping up in front of Dorothy.

We are introduced to munchkins and the Good Witch of the North. She tells Dorothy that she has brought peace to the land by killing the Wicked Witch of the East with her house. She has used the munchkins as slaves and was too powerful to be overthrown by the Good witch. She tells her that there are 4 witches in total: the Good Witch of the North & South, and the Wicked Witch of the East and West. Dorothy is in awe by all this and in that moment of wonder she realize that Auntie Em is still in Kansas.

She begs to be returned to her world and the Good Witch tells her that if she visits the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald city it is quite possible that he will grant her wish. To protect her from evil the Good witch gives her the Wicked Witch silver slippers and a protective kiss on the forehead (I see J.K. Rowling stole this idea from this book).

During her journey to the Emerald city, she encounters new strangers who become her companions such as the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion. Each one seeks something such as a brain, a heart, and courage and believe they can get it in the Emerald City and tag along with Dorothy who in many ways saved them from their troubled-life.

Throughout the story, these lovely characters stumble into trouble that test their wits and endurance which luckily having all 4 of them helps with creating a plan and how to survive. When they finally meet the Wizard he tells them that Dorothy must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. Simple right? Well try telling your 7 year-old that she needs to kill someone and see how well they take it.

For now I will stop spoiling the story because they is plenty of action to read (I believe a little bit too much I’m afraid). While reading this story I couldn’t help make the connection that this book is a mixture of Grimm Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, with a dose of Alice in Wonderland. What I loved about the book is it went into detail and explain certain plot holes that the movie either doesn’t explain or changes because it couldn’t cater to special effects back in 1939. I’m curious if it were filmed now would it be live-action or making it animated would be the simpler route.

I was shocked by the gruesomeness of the story when it came to animals attacking the characters. The Tin Woodsman chopping head off, the Scarecrow breaking crow necks. Yikes. I couldn’t believe these horrors were written for children but then again in 1900, children read Grimm Fairy tales for bedtime so this was normal to them compare to now this book would be considered for older kids. I couldn’t give this 5 stars because I grew up with the movie and even though the book came first, if it contradicted the movie I was disappointed and the whole repetition of wanting a brain, a heart, and courage became tedious in the book.

One thing that the book could have erased altogether which the movie did brilliantly was the ending. In the last 30 pages or so the characters have to go on this long and tedious adventure to help get Dorothy back to Kansas and at that point I wanted to give up. The segment was trying to cater to the magical hat that Dorothy discovers that allows the Winged Monkeys to obey her bidding for 3 events. She spends one of them and then that long plot to cater to the other two which wasn’t necessary. I love how in the film Glinda just shows up in a bubble to help Dorothy.

I miss all the scenes where we get to see the Witched Witch because in the book she is such a minor character and her storyline last for 2 seconds so her appearance is brief whereas the film you felt her presence everywhere which is brilliant. The Tin Woodsman is an idiot the way he became tin because if you had a magic axe that kept chopping up your body then how about getting a new axe when your arm got chopped off the first time?

I never understood why Dorothy wanted to leave Oz. I know she wants to be with her Auntie Em but if you realize how powerful were those slippers you could either transport them to Oz or create a tornado to bring them to you. Why leave this beautiful and magical world to go back to the boredom of Kansas? Life was miserable in 1900s especially for Farmers so why live in a world that magic doesn’t exist, your Uncle has to build and buy a new farm, and work like a slave whereas you are treated like a Princess in the magical land of Oz. Plus by the time we reached the ending, Dorothy is bit cruel to her new friends (no wonder Danielle Paige got the idea for Dorothy Must Die).

Overall I enjoyed this book (a bit disappointed I’m afraid) and I would love to continue this series but I’m afraid my journey ends with this book. I believe if I read anything else it will distort the Oz that I grew up and cherished which was a phenomenal world and not this nightmare that I discovered.

Before I end my review can I just mention that Judy Garland is the only one who can sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow? I cry every time I see her singing that song in the movie. Believe it or not it’s one of the hardest songs to sing and almost every single famous person I know screws it up. It’s meant to be sung like a lullaby and the hardest part is to have emotion in the voice while being on pitch. Half of the singers today just want to belt and all these atrocities that ruins the song. If you would like to see the clip here it is:

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland

Then I can’t forget that I saw MadTV do a skit of Wizard of Oz and I lost myself in tears of laughter and I still crack up every time I see it and I highly recommend everyone to watch it:

MadTV

P.S. If this helps anyone, this edition that I read which I got from Barnes & Noble, it’s missing a few illustrations because I checked my original copy of the Wizard of Oz and there’s like 5 illustrations that didn’t make the cut in this copy so I would highly recommend reading the reprint original 1900 hardcover edition.